Todd Bowles Has Just About Had It With Underwear Football

July 29th, 2023

Eager for pads.

Joe has had his fill of underwear football. Every practice this offseason was underwear football. This has continued through the first three days of training camp.

Joe’s done with it. In fact, Joe’s almost to the point of begging for a worthless preseason game. Enough is enough. Sometime next week, maybe Monday, the pads come on.

But imagine you’re Bucs coach Todd Bowles. He wants to start evaluating guys and there is just no way you can honestly evaluate players fully in underwear football.

For those not aware, underwear football is basically flag football without the flags. Teams are in shorts and T-shirts. The only equipment they wear outside of cleats and a jock is a helmet. No hitting of any sort is permitted. Boil it down, it’s not football.

(When Joe played high school football, coaches referred to this as “Jocks and Socks.”)

Throughout this week, Bowles has griped that it’s still underwear football. On Friday, Bowles let it be known how sick of it he is. And he’s sick of constantly talking glorified flag football. That’s about all he has been doing since OTAs began.

“[We’re] working on mechanics – it’s going to be the same every day,” Bowles began after practice Friday. “I’m not going to sit here and assess every practice in t-shirts and shorts. When we get in pads, we’re working on certain things, offensively schematically, defensively schematically.”

Later, when Bowles was asked who had the advantage in the two-minute drill,  offense or defense, Bowles responded, “I don’t think anybody wins [the] two-minute [drill] in t-shirts and shorts.”

When asked if Russell Gage is still the team’s No. 3 receiver, Bowles said, yes, because “I’m not going to promote anybody in t-shirts and shorts.”

Joe knows the players are getting fed up with underwear football. Rookie linebacker SirVocea Dennis told Joe earlier this week. The guy has made several splash plays — in underwear football and is more than eager to put the pads on so he can demonstrate to coaches he can make the same plays when men are allowed to hit.

So next week, Joe expects to see spirited play because finally, guys will be practicing real football. And hitting!

13 Responses to “Todd Bowles Has Just About Had It With Underwear Football”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Agree with you 100% Joe; can’t happen soon enough. Some guys play considerably different when the pads come on & the hitting is real.

    Scotty Miller was the classic example to me. Fast as all git-out, but apparently preferred to duck-and-roll instead of take a hit. As a result he rarely broke tackles and his Yards-After-Catch was abysmal. In his 4 years here with us, he got credit for ONE broken tackle, and a TOTAL of 737 Yards-Before-Catch but only 187 YAC in 74 catches (like 10.0 YBC but only 2.5 YAC average per catch). I’m surprised he lasted 4 years here. Good luck Atlanta.

  2. Obvious Says:


    GREAT NEWS! Neither one of you will have to concern yourselves with under any longer. IT’S OVER!

    And btw, you should have titled this write up as “JOE”, is DONE with underwear Foozball! And throw in “BIG TIME”

    Also, I heard one of your fellow reporters mention Sunday as the day they kick off the official real football in pads. Sunday…. If he’s right of course.

  3. Joe Says:

    Also, I heard one of your fellow reporters mention Sunday as the day they kick off the official real football in pads. Sunday…. If he’s right of course.

    Yeah, the team is a little vague about this. Usually before the full pads some on, the team has one practice in “shells” which is just shoulder pads (not full pads). The full pads come on the next day.

  4. Joe Says:

    Some guys play considerably different when the pads come on & the hitting is real.

    VERY much so.

  5. Obvious Says:

    Btw, you guys are knocking them dead out there! You’re competition is doing a p.i.s.s. poor job of accurate reporting. Literally omitting MUCH and painting a picture for example of “perfect unity” between Mayfield and Evens.
    Clearly they are “designing” a narrative and not a truth. That was from 2 other competitors.

    You guys on the other hand called it like it actually was. I believe Mayfield missed Mike TWICE before they Finally connected? One under thrown and one over thrown as I recall. The one thing that was CLEAR is that “perfect harmony” IS NOT what’s happening between the two.

    You guys are FAR MORE interesting to read than the others Vanguarding the “company line”. I lost a ton of respect for them today and you guys gained EVERY BIT of what they lost. And That’s A Lot!!

    Thanks again for keeping it real.

    GO BUCS!

  6. Joe Says:


    Thank you for the kind words. Joe just types what he sees (and hears). No narrative. It p!ssed a lot of people off. The Trask Clan for example.

    One under thrown and one over thrown as I recall


    Yes. That was in Joe’s notes. Clearly they weren’t on the same page on those two plays. That’s not to suggest they are not connecting at all. But those two plays were not good.

    (Being fair, Joe believes Evans was held on the underthrow preventing him from making a play on the ball. But it was underthrown.)

  7. Fred McNeil Says:

    Maybe Sunday is shells? I thought I’d read a quote from Bowels this morning, but I was still half asleep. I thought he said pads.

  8. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    When the pads go on & the hitting begins, what is the over/under on fights? I’m gonna go with 2. Not that I want to see any, but boys will be boys.

  9. Crickett Baker Says:

    To me, no preseason game is worthless. It gives me a strong preview of the players and the team like nothing else before it. I will defend them to any nay-sayer. When we lost all of them last year it told me what was coming and did not lie. I can hardly wait.

  10. Hodad Says:

    They make a big deal of when the pads come on! Mostly they just thump each other, there isn’t much taking people to the ground. Soon Bowles will be saying wait till we get to the games when the real hitting starts. Pads on, off, not much different.

  11. Thomas Edrington Says:



  12. garro Says:

    It is a different thing to run catch and block while wearing 20 lbs of gear.
    Add the Florida heat and it can slow guys down considerably. Not to mention affecting agility. I did two a days for years and the first practice in pads feels like you are dragging an anchor around.

    Go Bucs!

  13. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    Defense Rules Says:
    “Scotty Miller… I’m surprised he lasted 4 years here. Good luck Atlanta.”

    I wonder if they will cure him of the Kiermayer hops.